VBSR: New Health Care Bill Good for Economy and Public Health

– Vermont Business Group Endorses Sen. Sanders’ Bill –

Burlington, VT –

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) announced support Wednesday for the Medicare for All Act of 2017, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new health care bill establishing a nationwide universal health care system.


“VBSR has called for the creation of a system like this since 1992,” said Jane Campbell, VBSR executive director. “The economic problems created by our employer-based health care system were obvious back then and have only grown worse. We are thankful that Sen. Sanders continues to show leadership on this important business issue.”


The current employer-based health care system hampers economic growth, creates an unlevel playing field for businesses that pay for their employees’ health care, and leads to unsustainable and out of control costs, according to the Burlington, Vt.-based business group with more than 700 members. The United States Senate should immediately schedule hearings on the bill and move swiftly to follow the rest of the industrialized world in creating a universal health care system, according to VBSR.


Creating a health care system that covers all Americans, decouples insurance from employment, controls costs, and is funded fairly based on a person’s ability to pay has long been the goal of VBSR. Passage of the Affordable Care Act and companion legislation in Vermont has expanded access in the Green Mountain State, but has not solved the critical problems of reining in health care costs and removing the burden from the backs of the business community.


Sen. Sanders unveiled his Medicare for All bill at a Washington, D.C. press conference early Wednesday afternoon. VBSR looks forward to working with our members and our partners at the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) to support this legislation and find common sense and pro-business solutions to America’s health care problems. Vermont businesses praise Sen. Sanders’ health care bill:

Jennifer Kimmich, co-owner of The Alchemist in Stowe:

“I support replacing employment-based health insurance with a comprehensive national healthcare system. As an employer, we recognize the economic value in supporting a healthy and stable workforce, but the substantial cost of providing health insurance to our employees is a significant challenge for our business. If we are serious about addressing the three fundamental areas of health care- access, quality and cost- we need bold policy that supports a national healthcare system and universal coverage for everyone.”

Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter in Middlebury:

“Medicare for All will unleash a powerful wave of economic activity, as businesses large and small are freed from the burden of administering health insurance systems and can put their energy and their money to more productive use. Medicare for All will lead to lots of new businesses. There are a lot of Americans who dream of starting their own businesses but can’t quit their day jobs because they need the health insurance, and they will all finally be free to quit their jobs and start companies of their own.”

Don Mayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics in Waitsfield:

“Medicare for all is not just health care reform, it is an economic development program. When I started in business over 40 years ago, I paid about $1,500 to cover an employee and their family. Now, coverage that is not even as complete costs me over $15,000. As I consider expanding my business, no longer do I just think about the cost of wages to add new employees, I must carefully consider that $15,000 expense which makes adding jobs much harder. Decoupling health insurance from employment will stimulate the economy and result in significant job growth.”

Russ Bennett, owner of Northland Design & Construction in Waitsfield:

“Healthy people who don’t have to worry about how to get the health care they need for themselves are more stable and productive and happy than people who don’t. We have provided comprehensive health insurance for our employees all these years despite much pressure not to do so in order to save money and make our services cheaper. This step of expanding Medicare to cover all Americans is a good step to make at this time to build a healthier society, similar to the rest of the modern civilized world.”


VBSR is a statewide, non-profit business association with a mission to advance a business ethic that values people and planet as much as profit. Through economic development, education, public influence, and networking, VBSR strives to help 700+ members set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of the state’s residents, while remaining profitable.


Learn more or join the cause at www.vbsr.org.